Book of the Month

Is John McCain abetting our enemies?

On an explosive day in the Middle East, John McCain has just appeared on Fox News telling the folks in Arkansas as well as those in the Islamic world that radical Muslims have properly perceived America's weaknesses.  According to McCain the U.S. is, in fact, weak and it is a known fact that we are withdrawing from the region. Taken at face value McCain's comments could be seen as encouragement to radical Islamist groups to keep testing our embassies around the world. Perhaps our enemies could scale additional compound walls, and sensing the opportunity for a kill, recruit even more radicals and increase the mob violence to a point where it is no longer controllable.

One wonders how far McCain would go in wishing for the kind of conflagration which would repeat the Iranian hostage crisis---and like Jimmy Carter before him, topple President Obama. Well, McCain hasn't been able to do it himself, but maybe he can get a little help from the angry Muslims.   

I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of an American right now inside one of those embassies watching on camera the mobs outside. I served as a military officer in the aftermath of Korea and was stationed in Japan. While I never experienced combat I once encountered an angry mob at a train station in Tokyo. Trying to catch a late train back to the naval base I walked right into a militant labor wing rally--- in which I stood out like a sore thumb. A few guys started moving toward me and I backed out of the station and jumped into a cab which was about four feet long. After some terse words with the driver he finally got going, demonstrators trying to circle us outside. I had a similar experience trying to return a rental car in Newark, getting lost, and winding up in a blind alley in a ghetto. Guys pounding on the car windows and mob anger are not circumstances anyone wants to encounter.

So how do embassy workers, and even marines, feel watching Fox News in a foreign country and having John McCain essentially say we are weak and backing out of the region? Personally, I don't think it would make me admire McCain, and I think I might want to email him about it.

On this day of potential escalating violence against American diplomats and military personnel abroad, the Republicans are attempting to undercut Obama by using the demonstrations and violence as a signal of American weakness. Is this how far we have come in our political discourse, to undercut the President of the United States at a time when we are under attack? Is it not enough to have Republicans charge that Obama is "apologizing" for America---which is an outright lie? Do we have to encourage violence by communicating to the world that we are divided at home? Hey, Americans are fighting among themselves, good time to strike!

I don't think anyone can predict the extent of the violence which will unfold in the Middle East. Nor for that matter, how much these events will influence the election. Thus far, Romney's strategy of distorting Medicare cuts and Welfare work rules has not cut any ice outside the Republican base. If the public has so far not bought Romney's brand of distortion and scapegoating I don't see them buying into this new round of defining Obama as an "apologist" in Foreign affairs. And Romney's untimely and intemperate remarks have most likely ruined his chances for objectivity in any of the Middle East and Foreign Policy debates we should and will be having. I don't think Obama can be brought down by these events, but I don't think we are near the end of the uprisings.

A sixth grader can perceive Romney's new strategy. He tones down his rhetoric. McCain and others become the attack dogs. And Ryan, who no one listens to anyway, can appear at a Family Values conference and make inane comments on Foreign Policy---about which he knows nothing except that which Dan Senor has tried to teach him over the past three weeks. It's a pretty sad arrangement all around.

As for John McCain, a man whom I once admired, his bitterness---which IMO is really against Bush but will forever be transferred to Obama---is so apparent that I shouldn't worry about his effect on our own election. But I do worry about those radical enemies overseas who may unwittingly continue to give him some credibility.  

    

Weak?  We control the skies of the region where we deploy flying death robots to vaporize our enemies.  Weak?  Seriously?

But we need fourteen more air carriers and 100 K troops. And we never should have left Iraq, because the surge would have worked. Also, Iraq will most likely devolve into three countries---no shit.

One little problem, how do they sell this to the Ron Paul wing?

Jonathan Alter was on earlier this week discussing the fun speech given by Cheney.

Cheney of course was telling his audience that everything is going to hell in a hand basket due to the terrible leadership of our current leader.

Alter just referred to the speech as clap trap and called Dicky a sour and embittered old man. hahahaha

McCain is just an embittered old man who calls for a new war in a new country every month or so. The Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq (again!) and whatever.

The problem is that Lindsey and McCain and Cheney and Bolton and a host of other close advisors to Mitt scare the living hell out of me.

There are serious and well-funded and well-covered and powerful people in this nation who would throw us into even more wars that will last forever and ever.

With the masters of war growing fat on our fears for 60 years; this country will never ever be at peace.

But it would be nice if we could stick to one war at a time for chrissakes.

Japan was miraculously transformed from a war machine with archaic laws into a thriving 20th century and 21st century modern nation.

I see no chance of this type of transformation in the Middle East or Northern Africa.

And I see no possibility that these war crazy politicians in our country will ever go away!

Romney says we need a large enough military to fight two conflicts. Just two? I thought the biggest threat was the kind of multiple and asymmetrical (is that redundant?) conflicts we are being faced with this weekend.

The thing to keep in mind I believe is that those citizens who see McCain, Cheney et al. as reliable and trustworthy sources on foreign (and domestic) issues are already in the Romney camp.  All the conservatives are doing is talking amongst themselves.  Maybe if they had had some guts and discussed during the convention when they actually had an audience, this might be getting some traction beyond their conservative bubble.

The rest of the public I believe has a general sense that an American president has little at his disposal to keep the mobs from gathering, and no matter what kind of "leadership" he employs, the mob knows there is little or nothing he can do to disperse a mob once it has gathered. 

Moreover, these folks outside the conservative bubble know he has devastated the terrorist leadership through the attack drones, and has done more than Bush ever did to lessen their strength to conduct attacks.

While the Republican attacks are indeed giving confidence to those who attack our political and military personnel abroad, this will back home only end up making them seem at best petty and worst un-American (yes, that dreaded word).

GWB and his bloody campaign in Iraq, and the current one in Afghanistan, haven't done much for us in the Muslim world or anywhere for that matter.  Even in Iraq, GWB's 'Newest Democracy in the World' they hate the USA.

'Getting' the LA Muslim/Jew hating film maker, a Coptic Christian Egyptian immigrant & bank fraud felon Nakoula Nakoula would buy us a lot more love in the Islamic world right about now than 'Getting Saddam' ever did, it would be cheaper than invasions.

Maybe McCain can suggest a country to Surge 30,000 more troops? They could put Romney's five sons in the first wave, and McCain's 'yes, she is ready to be President'  Sarah Palin could be put in as XO, in between her stints at Fox News.

On a serious note there may be a case for just closing embassies in many of these nations with deadly riots.  The likes of Nakoula Nakoula, Pastor Jones and YouTube are not going away. If we need to have diplomacy, have it outside the country involved, for instance at the UN. Having bunker like embassies with scores of armed guards does not seem a solution to projecting what America represents.

   I don't know, couldn't you just as easily say that those of us who wanted out of Iraq and Afghanistan are "encouraging the enemy"?

Heh, this is a funny read. It spells out conservative proclamations in relation to separation at home. Americans undercutting their president. Obama as "apologist". Proclamations of a weak America.

Is it time to tell the truth? Okay, then I'll do it. We are divided. Look around. That makes us (like any nation divided) weak. No one undercuts Obama. He undercuts US! He has yet to make a single constitutional choice in American policy (outside of what his cronies dictate as constitutional), foreign or otherwise. McCain merely points out truths that are hard to swallow, but the sooner we do swallow them, the sooner our embassy members will have less to fear. It's all about finding solutions, which in turn, is all about understanding these dark truths. Let's stop burying our heads in the sand, both proverbially and literally, and draft up public blogs that aim us toward seeing the light.

McCain's train is on the right road. The tough one. The road that leads toward solution. Get on board.

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